Nobody can deny, after sampling 10 seconds of her soul-lifting musical output, that Esperanza Spalding has earned every plaudit her global devotees have dealt — and all the critical acclaim she has received — because of the beauty, talent and gifts that come from deep inside this former childhood musical prodigy. Local fans already aware of Spalding’s talent and sublime showmanship can visit with her in person, while newcomers can revel in the experience of catching her lightning in a bottle performance when she opens a brief early fall tour at The Ridgefield Playhouse October 1.
Stella Gordon vehemently believes that a house divided cannot stand. She ferociously protects her domain while her recalcitrant family dukes it out to get what they think they have coming to them. Thus is the premise of Horton Foote’s "Dividing the Estate," which is receiving a wonderful presentation by The Sherman Players.
TheatreWorks New Milford is currently offering the edgy, puppet populated and Tony Award winning musical "Avenue Q," with music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marks, book by Jeff Whitty, and based on the original concept by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marks. These are adult-only puppets with a message for the child in all of us. Set entirely on an urban street, congested with tenements and inner city debris, the story is rife with humanity, bawdy humor and sweet sentiment. Characters in the form of Sesame Street-like puppets as well as real people seek meaning and connection. The initial introduction to the cast of characters is through a song in which they all compete to be living a life that is worse than any one else’s, a pity party of sorts.
The Alt, a stunning new trio currently touring the United States with their self-titled album, combines the talents of three Irish traditional musicians who are all at the top of their game: John Doyle, formerly of Solas, on guitar, mandola, Irish bouzouki, and vocals; Nuala Kennedy, a noted solo artist and a member of the group Orialla, on flute, whistles, and vocals; and Eamon O’Leary, of the New York duo The Murphy Beds, on bouzouki, guitar, and vocals. The the Shamrock Traditional Irish Music Society recently hosted The Alt at Newtown Meeting House, and a very enthusiastic crowd welcomed them.
Do you know what’s growing in your backyard? Thanks to the Garden Club of Newtown members’ efforts, residents can take a look at some of the problem plants that are thriving in Newtown. Information and photos of these plants are now on display in a short-term exhibition at C.H. Booth Library. “September Is Invasive Plant Removal Month,” announces a sign greeting guests to the library’s back entrance. Beside it are posters giving away clues to recognizing invasive plants that crowd out native species and over time can even kill mature trees. Garden Club of Newtown members are hoping to help resident green thumbs know how to spot plants such as Bittersweet, Mile-A-Minute vine, Porcelain Berry, Bindweeds, Dodder, Black Swallowwort, Akebia, and Japanese Honeysuckle.
Community and state leaders, volunteers, and numerous supporters of Newtown Youth & Family Services (NYFS) joined NYFS Executive Director Candice Bohr and staff in celebrating the organization’s 30 years of commitment to the community, as well as honoring special NYFS award recipients, Tuesday, September 23, at a breakfast event held at Rock Ridge Country Club. Following a brief social hour prior to the 8 am start of the breakfast, NYFS Board of Directors Chairman Jesse Rosenschein introduced the guest speaker, Dr John Murphy, president and CEO of Western Connecticut Health Network. As part of his remarks, Dr Murphy emphasized the contributions of NYFS as being central to a mission of improving health in the community.
If today’s library is a gathering place as well as a place where information is accumulated and passed on to the public, then it should be of no surprise that C.H. Booth Library will host an open house unlike others in its long history. On Saturday, September 27, the public is invited to attend the chbMakers Open House, from noon to 4 pm, and experience the disbursement of information that comes not from books, but from the passions and expertise of other community members. The four-hour open house will offer workshops, mainly on the first and second levels, in subjects that range from Scratch Coding for computers and soldering to arm knitting and modular electronics. Geared for all ages, visitors will have the opportunity for hands-on dabbling under the guidance of skilled hobbyists and experts. The chbMakers is a response to the MakerSpace movement that has been sweeping schools, libraries, and other organizations for nearly a decade, bringing together “makers” from communities to share ideas.